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Maine Diner

2265 Post Road, Wells, ME - (207) 646-4441
Posted By Michael Stern on 1/5/2010 10:11:00 PM
In 1983 Bruce and Myles Henry of Drake's Island bought an old diner in Wells, and spiffed it up. They devised a menu of Yankee shoreline cooking – the kind of food we tourists crave when we hit the road north. The menu has expanded in recent years to include much landlubber fare as well as flawlessly executed comfort-food classics, but the main Maine attractions still headline.

Fried clams, for instance, are vigorously oceanic, just a wee bit oily, so fragile the crust seems to melt away as your teeth sink into them. And lobster, most especially a hot lobster roll that the menu immodestly describes as "FANTASTIC!" The menu is not exaggerating. It is what we have always thought of as a Connecticut-style roll, meaning that it is hot, as opposed to a lobster-salad roll, which is served cold, with mayonnaise. You get nothing but plump, resilient chunks of lobster meat spilling out of a grilled weiner bun with plenty of butter to pour on as desired. Once buttered, it is impossible to eat with one's hands like a sandwich, because the bun disintegrates under the weight of its filling. But you do eat it with your hands, and fingers glisten as they pick smooth strips of claw and knobby knuckle meat, and occasional shreds of butter-sopped bread. Cool lobster salad rolls also are available.

The lobster roll is glorious, but the most amazing lobster dish, and one of the best regional dishes we've eaten anywhere, anytime, is the Henry brothers' grandmother's lobster pie. Of all the good Downeast things you can eat along the coast, this casserole, elegant yet elementary, is one that mustn't be missed. Your ceramic dish contains plump sections of lobster – soft claw and chewy tail meat – drenched in butter, topped with a mixture of cracker crumbs and tomalley. It is a strange-colored dish, monstrous green and brown and pink, shockingly rich.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Lobster Pie
Indian Pudding
Lobster Roll
Muffin
Seafood Chowder
Corn Chowder
Blueberry pie
Chocolate Cake
Baked Beans
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The wall behind the counter at the Maine Diner is crowded with blue ribbons won by this seafood chowder. It is butter-rich, creamy, and loaded with shrimp, clams, and hunks of fish, just about the best we've ever had.
"The wall behind the counter at the Maine Diner is crowded with blue ribbons won by this seafood chowder. It is butter-rich, creamy, and loaded with shrimp, clams, and hunks of fish, just about the best we've ever had."
Michael Stern





Here is one great lobster roll, presented in a toasted bun with plenty of butter for drizzling on as you need it. Note how glistening moist and hunky the lobster is.
"Here is one great lobster roll, presented in a toasted bun with plenty of butter for drizzling on as you need it. Note how glistening moist and hunky the lobster is."
Michael Stern


A signature dish, lobster pie is made from a family recipe. For lobster lovers, it is unspeakably savory. And by the way, those mashed potatoes in the background are the real McCoy.
"A signature dish, lobster pie is made from a family recipe. For lobster lovers, it is unspeakably savory. And by the way, those mashed potatoes in the background are the real McCoy."
Michael Stern


A fine, not-too-decadent chocolate cake. With a few cups of coffee, it makes an ideal conclusion to a Maine Diner meal.
"A fine, not-too-decadent chocolate cake. With a few cups of coffee, it makes an ideal conclusion to a Maine Diner meal."
Michael Stern


Very tasty lobster morsels, although I couldn't help wishing there was MORE!
"Very tasty lobster morsels, although I couldn't help wishing there was MORE!"
Robin Olson


Baked beans like these are quintessentially Yankee: firm-bodied, earthy, laced with plenty of pieces of bacon, a little bit sweet but not at all sticky.
"Baked beans like these are quintessentially Yankee: firm-bodied, earthy, laced with plenty of pieces of bacon, a little bit sweet but not at all sticky."
Michael Stern


Those blue ribbons are still on the wall at the Maine Diner and they are still deserved!  This chowder was chock full of scallops, whole belly clams, shrimp and more.  A light, creamy broth was so good, I could have had the chowder without all the extra goodies.
"Those blue ribbons are still on the wall at the Maine Diner and they are still deserved! This chowder was chock full of scallops, whole belly clams, shrimp and more. A light, creamy broth was so good, I could have had the chowder without all the extra goodies."
Robin Olson


Fortunately, I remembered to take a picture before totally polishing off this excellent bowl of corn chowder. Like the Maine Diner's celebrated seafood chowder, it is butter-rich.
"Fortunately, I remembered to take a picture before totally polishing off this excellent bowl of corn chowder. Like the Maine Diner's celebrated seafood chowder, it is butter-rich."
Michael Stern


Our favorite New England dessert: Indian pudding, made from cornmeal and molasses, served warm and topped with ice cream.
"Our favorite New England dessert: Indian pudding, made from cornmeal and molasses, served warm and topped with ice cream."
Michael Stern


Here's top o' the mornin' to you: a warm cornbread muffin, ready to be buttered.
"Here's top o' the mornin' to you: a warm cornbread muffin, ready to be buttered."
Michael Stern


Another view of the lobster pie.  Delicious!
"Another view of the lobster pie. Delicious!"
John Grundhauser


Three squares a day, and some of the tastiest, easy-to-eat lobster anywhere along the Maine coast.
"Three squares a day, and some of the tastiest, easy-to-eat lobster anywhere along the Maine coast."
Michael Stern


If you are heading up the coast of Maine in search of true Maine food, you won't do better than heeding this sign ... for lunch and dinner as well as for breakfast.
"If you are heading up the coast of Maine in search of true Maine food, you won't do better than heeding this sign ... for lunch and dinner as well as for breakfast."
Michael Stern



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